I had the honor of planning this year’s WIPA (Wedding International Professionals Association) Awards Gala at the JW Marriott here in Las Vegas. The event united all chapters from around the world to celebrate the accomplishments of its talented members. I gathered up our Las Vegas members along with some talented sponsors to design a modern take on the cabaret jazz theater and coordinated entertainment experiences throughout the night. Guests were escorted to their seats by male models. The room consisted of mixed rounds and high conversation tables set for six and intimate low cocktail tables set for two. The decor came together with marble top tables, moody colored floral, gold accents everywhere! It was so good! A twelve piece orchestra played contemporary music as guests entered. Guests were immediately served small appetizer bites and signature cocktails, Pomegranate Moscow Mule and Old Fashion. Every ten minutes a new act hit the floor engaging with the audience and hitting the line of too risqué. WIPA Las Vegas nailed down Simon Bailey, a phenomenal inspirational speaker, to encourage, enlighten and boost our spirits for 2018! He was incredible. The awards presentation was hosted by none other than Shannel, seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She was perfect and the highlight of the event. I cannot thank her enough for embracing my vision. The night ended with desserts, coffee, more signature cocktails, photo booth and dancing. For the cherry on top, WIPA Las Vegas was awarded Chapter of the Year!
Adam Trujillo is pulling on my heartstrings with this highlight film from our recent styled shoot at MEET Las Vegas. It highlights all the effort and energy my amazing vendor team put into this beautiful design. I’m so thankful and proud of what we created together and Adam does an incredible job capturing it all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
A styled shoot is created to inspire couples, to produce fun ideas and take risks! I absolutely love them! MEET Las Vegas is a beautiful white canvas venue lending itself to many different styles and color schemes. I knew I wanted to make a big splash with an uncommon color combination (baby blue, black, red and rose gold) and I’m thrilled with how things turned out. Inspired by the children’s book I Love you Night and Day by Smriti Prasadam Halls, the story unfolds when the “couple” reads my favorite line of the book “I Love you night, I love you day, in every moment, come what may.” Angie Kelley of Peachy Keen Unions writes the most beautiful “love story” of how the couple met in grade school and reconnected over a book they read together. Their wedding day is the perfect combination of night and day. Some of my all time favorite vendors and some new friends helped create the most amazing space for Norina Kaye to capture. I’m so excited to share her sneak peeks with you now!
I have to stop what I’m doing and get the word out about my good friend and vendor partner Chelsea Nicole Photography. She launched a YouTube channel entitled The Channel for Modern Photographers. Although directed toward wedding photographers… planners, videographers, DJs and even couples can learn SO MUCH from the extremely talented Chelsea Nicole. We are so lucky to have her in our immediate network of photographers, but now she is sharing her knowledge with the world! Get it girl! So proud of you.
Check out her latest video… How to Craft the Perfect Wedding Photography Timeline for You & Your Couples.
How to Craft the Perfect Wedding Photography Timeline for You & Your Couples - YouTube
Oh how I love a couple who is willing to step outside the box to make what seems a logistical nightmare a dream come true! Kate had a vision and just a few months to pull it off. Here is where I step in to pull favors, puzzle the pieces together and hire vendors who will go above and beyond to create an unbelievable experience for Kate and Justin’s guests. The day began at the dock where guests were invited to meet. Guests had no idea that they would be enjoying light refreshments on a darling Duffy Boat in Lake Las Vegas. Personalized gift bags filled with ceremony goodies such as rose petals, ribbon wands and blow horns told each guest which boat they’d be boarding. Boat captains greeted their guests and once everyone was seated, we were off.
After a relaxing 15 minute boat ride along the beautiful Lake Las Vegas, guests spotted Kate and Justin in the near distance waving from a small dock. Guests cheered and hollered in anticipation for the ceremony. The couple with their closest friends and family exchanged their vows on a gorgeous bridge while guests floated below in the Duffy Boats. On cue, all the guests showered Kate and Justin with rose petals, made lots of noice and congratulated the couple as they kissed their first kiss as husband and wife.
Once guests returned, they were invited to a reception hosted at Hilton Lake Las Vegas complete with Kate’s Martini Lounge and Justin’s Cigar Bar. Each lounge included CORT Furnishings and specialty drinks to create a real personalized cocktail hour. In Kate’s Martini Lounge you could find martinis topped with dry ice, luxurious white seating and a hanging crystal chandelier. In Justin’s Cigar Bar, you could find draft beer and scotch, an authentic Cuban cigar roller and leather seating for days. Guests truly enjoyed their time!
Kate and Justin then hosted their guests to a delicious plated meal finished with each guests’ own mini wedding cake served on a vintage dessert plate. Darling! Guests danced the night away to a family favorite band, JLove, who created the most perfect jazz nightclub feel under the stars and bistro lighting. At the end of the night, I couldn’t have thanked my team enough for helping me pull this amazing wedding day off. Love them and love Kate and Justin for trusting my recommendations to ensure the day went smooth. I had a blast with this challenge and I look forward to continuing to create personalized days for all my couples.
Hi Schemers! I’m going into the weekend feeling pretty humbled. Scheme Events has been quoted, featured and shared on many platforms recently. It’s always great to see my designs, advice and love being highlighted in a magazine, blog, website or television. Most recently, Tony Hirsch, a writer for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, interviewed me for the article below. I love his take on hiring a wedding planning, but also some of the other great advice given by other insiders in Las Vegas. Thank you Tony for the awesome mention.
Insider Wedding Tips
There are no two ways about it; planning almost any wedding is a big deal—a vast undertaking requiring time, energy, organization, creativity, and lots and lots of patience. And that makes sense. For many people, it’s the biggest day of their lives as they set their course for the future and embark on the incredible journey of marriage. And yet it’s more than just an event packed with meaning. It’s often a huge production (no matter the size of the guest list) packed with details large and small, and often with more moving parts than a Swiss watch. Pulling off a successful wedding, while it may be a labor of love for the full-of-heart, is most definitely not a task to be undertaken by the faint-of-heart. That’s why a skilled, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and above all, professional planner is as indispensible a part of a wedding as the couple themselves.
And when it comes to planning a Vegas wedding, the need for a highly knowledgeable, professional planner becomes all the more obvious. Nowhere else has Vegas’ truly unending array of options and amenities, and navigating such a vast sea of possibilities requires an insider-knowledge base few of us mere mortals can even begin to grasp. So we decided to take up a little bit of the valuable time of several of Vegas’ busiest professional wedding planners to get a few of their stories and learn some of their own insider tips on how to ensure that your Vegas wedding is everything you want it to be, and that it goes off without a hitch. No pun intended.
Insider Tip #1: Manage your guest list!
So says Tara Federico, Designer and Planner for the Vegas area wedding and event design company, Scheme. Tara explains that Vegas wedding invitations often have a higher “yes” response rate than the typical wedding invitation (everyone loves an excuse to visit Vegas!) so it’s important to have a good grasp on the size of your party. Knowing this will help you and your planner begin to pare down the list of options to just the ones that suit your needs. And Tara should know. Scheme has been putting together uniquely stylish weddings and events in Vegas since 2010 and has been featured in numerous industry publications. And in that time they’ve pretty much seen and done it all, from glamorous lakefront and sophisticated theater weddings to the surprise birthday/engagement/instant-wedding party they managed to pull off with just a few weeks of planning. Events like this can only happen in Vegas and only do happen with the help of creative professionals like Tara and Scheme.
Insider Tip #2: Think outside the box!
Stephanie Case of Lush Event Productions strongly recommends thinking outside the Vegas box to find your best deals without sacrificing. This can mean thinking off-season. Of course, any time of year is a good time to be here, but when the crowds get a little thinner, availability tends to go up and prices tend to go down. Stephanie also recommends thinking off The Strip. Of course we all know about the glitz and excitement of The Strip, but Vegas is also home to a myriad of venues and possibilities off The Strip as well—both nearby and farther away. Most guests will get a certain image in their heads when they think “Vegas wedding,” so why not surprise them with something off The Strip and maybe, say, out in the natural beauty of the surrounding area (Red Rock Canyons, even the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon are within range from here). Or maybe try one of Vegas’ numerous properties just off The Strip but still very nearby. Lush Event Productions is a beginning-to-end planning company offering a variety of planning packages, in-season and off-season, on The Strip and off. They are adept at suiting a wide breadth of budgetary needs and event types and reminding us why truly professional planning services are an invaluable commodity in this town.
Insider Tip #3: Use your imagination and use your time wisely!
“Have a vision, don’t be shy, and above all else, don’t be late!” is the sage advice from LV Wedding Connection’s Joni Moss. This is the voice of experience speaking, with 25 years under her belt in Vegas alone (36 in the business all together!), Joni knows what she’s talking about. “This town runs like clockwork,” she reminds us, meaning that so many venues are hosting so many events that a timeslot can become a sacred thing, and of course making the most of your allotted time is a. So whatever else you do, BE ON TIME! And in her time, Joni has seen and organized it all, stating that as long as its legal, she and LV Wedding Connection will make it happen. I mean, hasn’t everyone pulled off a last minute, midnight on New Year’s Eve, rollercoaster wedding with a Lady Gaga impersonator presiding? Joni says that every strange or unique idea has a reason behind it so don’t be afraid to be yourself!
Insider Tip #4: Take time to smell the flowers!
Perhaps more important than anything else is the need to take a step back and enjoy the process of planning your wedding, as much as possible. This is advice directly from Emily herself, of Weddings By Emily. Planning your wedding is much more than a major undertaking, it’s supposed to be a joyous and exciting project as well. So when all the daydreaming and details begin to overwhelm (which they often do) step back, take a deep breath and remember to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Of course having a professional planner on your side is key to being able to breath easily. Emily’s experience working with brides even over long distances has taught her the value of going all-out for her clients and taking the bulk of the worry upon herself, allowing her clients to relax and enjoy their special day—as well as all the potentially stressful days leading up to it! Emily’s focus is on fun and creating lasting relationships with her clients.
So, know your list, think outside the box, don’t be shy and have a good time—all sound, inside advice from some of Vegas’ top wedding planning authorities. With so many options and so many possibilities it’s hard to go wrong with a Vegas wedding. But if you want to be 100% certain it all goes right, follow the advice above, follow your heart, and for goodness sake, get yourself a good planner! – Tony Hirsch
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. We are throwing it back to spring 2016 because THREE of our gorgeous weddings have recently been featured on some amazing blogs! Congratulations to these beautiful couples. We are humbled by these features and always love seeing our hard work highlighted by some of the best publications in the industry. Click each badge to preview the feature.
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